For a while I’ve been considering specialising on a foreign league to make my site different and to have my own niche. Leagues like Cyprus First Division and the Danish Superliga sprung to mind, but I don’t have any stats available for those leagues. This week WhoScored made the Norwegian Tippeligaen’s stats publicly available on their site.
I’ve always had an affinity towards Scandinavia so Norway is a good league for my to specialise in I think. I’m very new to the Tippeligaen so my knowledge isn’t good at all yet but as I intend to watch more and more of it so I’m sure I’ll get to grips with the league. If you know any Tippeligaen blogs then let me know on twitter – @SL_TeamTalk.
So, for my first Tippeligaen article I thought I’d keep it simple by looking at total shot ratio (TSR). If you don’t know TSR is a good indicator of league performance in terms of points and goal difference. It shows how each team fares over a period of time in the battle of shot numbers. It is worked out by Shots Taken / (Shots Taken + Shots Conceded). If one team takes 15 shots and concedes 10 then that team has 60% TSR. While the other has 40%.
If you outshoot your opponent you’re much more likely to win. This doesn’t take into shot quality though. But you could use expected goals to measure it, but I don’t have a xG model yet or the shot data I’d need to assess every match.
Here is a graph I’ve borrowed from James Grayson’s (@JamesWGrayson) site. It clearly shows a pretty strong correlation between points and TSR using lots of data points from several seasons. The teams on the left with low TSR were the relegation teams while teams on the right were title contenders and domestic champions.
Here’s a graph I made (as you can tell my the poorer quality of it) when I planned a article about Blackpool’s TSR last year that I never wrote. As you can see an R2 of .72 is significant. Blackpool (coloured orange) had the second worst TSR in League 1 last year and finished 21st in a league of twenty four teams. With a TSR of about 40.5% they were relegated on the final day (a game I had the misery of watching). So, a smaller sample size with only 24 data points but a slightly stronger correlation from the first graph.
Here is my graph of TSR x Points in the Tippeligaen after 21 games in the 2016 season. So far the Norwegian top-tier has a strong correlation this year with an R2 of .86. Rosenborg are flying high at the top of the league on 50 points with a single loss in twenty-one. On the opposite end of the spectrum you can see Start. They haven’t won a game yet this season and have 9 points. Impressively they don’t actually have the worst TSR as Aalesund who are second from bottom have a dreadful TSR of 36% and 19 points. Their appalling
TSR is largely due to the fact the concede an impressive 18.4 shots per game.
I haven’t got previous season’s shot data to see if the Tippeligaen generally has a higher correlation of TSR to points but this season is higher than other leagues I’ve seen. As shown above.
Although the title race is over in Norway there is good competition for the two Europa League qualifying spots. 8th is only 7 points from 2nd placed Odds Ballklubb. So the final nine games of the season could be close. Try to outshoot your opponent and you should hopefully make some ground.
Thanks for reading my first piece on the Tippeligaen. Follow me on twitter- @SL_TeamTalk and give me feed back or email me at sidelineteamtalk @ gmail [dot] com.